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Why Continuous Professional Development is good for your business

Why Continuous Professional Development is good for your business
IPA Director of Professional Development Patrick Mills on the importance of CPD to your business.

The IPA launched the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme in 1999 in direct response to clients’ belief that the advertising industry did not have the professionalism of their marketing counterparts. Clients invested in their marketing teams’ education and they wanted the best from their agency counterparts.

The IPA CPD programme was therefore created to help its member agencies instill a learning culture within their agencies that would link their agency training plans to business objectives. This in turn would help them develop and professionalise their existing talent, attract new talent, negotiate fairer remuneration with their clients and stand out in pitches, all of which would ultimately help them to improve their income and reduce costs.

This all sounds good, but does it work?

In 2008 the IPA launched the Gold Standard of CPD accreditation in answer to the remarkable submissions from members that reflected the power of CPD and the impact on their businesses. Since then we have been amassing data to show the effectiveness of staff training and development. The most recent data forms the backbone of a recent publication from the IPA, which includes 11 case studies that demonstrate how CPD has impacted on agency health in different ways. The results, when compared to industry data, are impressive.

For example, on the business front IPA CPD Gold accredited agencies reported 98% client retention, business growth was in the region of 10% year on year with an average of eight new business wins. In terms of staff: 72% rated their personal career growth positively, which compares to less than a third in Aspire’s Employee Engagement Survey in 2011/12. 81% gave positive feedback on the leadership within their company (25% reported in industry surveys), 85% felt they are given learning opportunities that suit them and their development and 74% had a positive view of their company (vs 46% reported in the Aspire survey). And staff turnover was 20% (vs 30% across the whole industry).

Agencies consistently say that being an IPA CPD Gold accredited agency helps them ‘to win business from new and existing clients’, ‘it demonstrates to clients that (our) company is serious about providing them with a well trained, knowledgeable agency team, having a first rate L&D programme will improve service levels and aids client retention’, ‘to be considered an employer of choice which helps in recruitment and retention’.

You can find out much more in the case studies in the attached booklet.

If you’d like your agency to make the most of CPD contact Patrick Mills, IPA Director of Professional Development (

Last updated 22/01/2014

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